Am I doing it wrong: LPG tank installation

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DrV
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Am I doing it wrong: LPG tank installation

Post by DrV » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:31 pm

I use my :macm: at Miditerranean, in Turkish waters, and it is not so easy to get good advice here, due to language problems (my Turkish is not much better than my German), and to the fact that my :macm: is just one of very few Macgregors here... Anyway, I got her with propane gas cooker installed by the only one official and exclusive Mac dealer in Turkey (providing a terrible service, by the way!!! I got nearly arrested by police, because of them!), but without the gas tank. They told me "You buy refillable tank in local market, and install it youself". That's what I did. And I have installed the tank where I have seen it installed on the yachts I have seen before - i.e. inside the galley, next to water tank.

So far, so good, but then I saw a video with :macm:s and :macx:s, where the LPG tank (refillable, too) is installed OUTBOARD. Shock! I never considered such an option, because it looks plain dangerous to me! Such a long hose with gas, valve so far from cockpit. I felt OK with my foot-long pipe/hose from tank to cooker, and manually switching off the valve on the gas tank when gas is not needed. And when visiting the marinas here, I have never seen a liquid gas tank installed outboard!

What is safer?

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RobertB
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Re: Am I doing it wrong: LPG tank installation

Post by RobertB » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:43 pm

Installing a compressed fuel cylinder in the boat has alot of positive points such as corosion protection and convenience. It only has one main drawback - if it were to leak (the tank or the connection) - your boat could blow up :? :?

If installed outside, a gas leak will be dispersed.

One of the more workable solutions is to use the smaller non-reffilable cylinders and store in a custom made enclosure under the captain's seat. The enclosure is often made of larger diameter PVC pipe and end fittings.

Another location is in place of one of the main fuel tanks but this would limit your fuel. A third location would be in front of the pedestal if you are willing to cover the footwell there (as I have done so I can carry a third fuel tank).

We use butane in small cans and make sure the boat is well ventillated when cooking. If one can were to leak, the volume would be alot less than a refillable propane/LPG tank.

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mastreb
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Re: Am I doing it wrong: LPG tank installation

Post by mastreb » Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:25 pm

Also a concern is that they can leak and asphyxiated or poison cabin occupants. Essentially any gas in a confined space is dangerous, and this is why tanks are generally outboard on a small boat. The only inherently safe stoves for enclosed spaces are ethanol alcohol stoves, because the human body can metabolize ethanol and its not explosive at standard pressure and temperatures.

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Re: Am I doing it wrong: LPG tank installation

Post by Catigale » Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:02 pm

An LP tank has to be mounted above deck, in a vented looker, hard plumbed with copper pipe, and equipped with a 12 VDC shutoff solenoid wired to a switch at the galley to meet regs here..

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Sumner
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Re: Am I doing it wrong: LPG tank installation

Post by Sumner » Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:28 pm

Catigale wrote:An LP tank has to be mounted above deck, in a vented looker, hard plumbed with copper pipe, and equipped with a 12 VDC shutoff solenoid wired to a switch at the galley to meet regs here..
That is what we have on the Endeavour with the exception of ...

Image

...flexible Trident Propane supply line....

http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?pat ... 9&id=59247

that goes from...

Image

....the solenoid at the base of the regulator to the stove. We turn the gas on and off in the galley with each use with the switch there that has a red light that stays lit while the valve is open. Gas remains in the line from the solenoid valve to the stove when the valve closes, but if there were a leak you would get very little gas from the line alone. In the picture above the bottom right arrow points to the line to the tank that was out of the locker for the picture. The bottom left arrow points to the solenoid/valve and the upper arrow points to where the supply line exits the locker and then goes to the stove. The line had just been run at the time of the picture and the hole was next caulked around the line.

We just had both propane tanks retested and certified and I replace the line to the regulator along with a new regulator that has a gauge on the top that lets you know if you have leakage. The solenoid was working fine, but I did replace the hose from it to the stove.

If you want gas to a stove please move the tank to a locker outside of the cabin like Cat mentioned that also has a drain for any gas overboard and has a working solenoid and galley switch. Also test all of the fittings with soap/water and check the solenoid often to make sure it is working by lighting the stove and then turning the solenoid off.

With the mac we use a camp stove with lots of ventilation and store the propane bottles out in ABS tubes under the solar array,

Sum

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Tomfoolery
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Re: Am I doing it wrong: LPG tank installation

Post by Tomfoolery » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:45 am

Sumner wrote:If you want gas to a stove please move the tank to a locker outside of the cabin like Cat mentioned that also has a drain for any gas overboard and has a working solenoid and galley switch. Also test all of the fittings with soap/water and check the solenoid often to make sure it is working by lighting the stove and then turning the solenoid off.
This is big. LP gas is heavier than air, and will 'pool' in the bottom of the boat if it leaks. It's highly explosive when concentrated like that.

A proper storage compartment has a drain at the bottom that leads directly to the outside, and is outside of and completely separate from any habitable indoor spaces. A solenoid valve in the same compartment is de rigeur, too - energize to open, and there should be a switch right at the cooktop or range with an indicator light to show that the gas is enabled.

I'm basically parroting what Sumner said above, but it's important enough to repeat for effect.

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RobertB
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Re: Am I doing it wrong: LPG tank installation

Post by RobertB » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:33 am

Assuming you are commited to LNG, I assume you are going to go with an external tank installation. Two questions to answer before much more help can be offered:

1. What size tank do you intend to use?
2. What locations are you willing to explore to mount?

Locations on an M are pretty much limited to the aft exterior area - unless you are willing to undergo a major modification to make an internal, sealed, and vented to the outside fuel locker.

Areas I would suggest considering are:
a. In place of one of the main fuel tanks under a seat (or use a 6 gallon tank with the LNG tank)
b. In the footwell in front of the pedestal with a cover over the footwell
c. Mounted off the stern on a platform or in an enclosure
Last edited by RobertB on Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Divecoz
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Re: Am I doing it wrong: LPG tank installation

Post by Divecoz » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:53 am

Good Post Robert.. Allow me to add .. smaller 10 lb tank under the Helm seat or in the motor well..
RobertB wrote:Assuming you are committed to LNG, I assume you are going to go with an external tank installation. Two questions to answer before much more help con be offered:

1. What size tank do you intend to use?
2. What locations are you willing to explore to mount?

Locations on an M are pretty much limited to the aft exterior area - unless you are willing to undergo a major modification to make an internal, sealed, and vented to the outside fuel locker.

Areas I would suggest considering are:
a. In place of one of the main fuel tanks under a seat (or use a 6 gallon tank with the LNG tank)
b. In the footwell in front of the pedestal with a cover over the footwell
c. Mounted off the stern on a platform or in an enclosure

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Highlander
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Re: Am I doing it wrong: LPG tank installation

Post by Highlander » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:30 am

Ka Boom yep I think I done something wrong :arrow: :idea: :?

J 8)
PS Be carefull

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Sumner
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Re: Am I doing it wrong: LPG tank installation

Post by Sumner » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:46 am

Just a further note. The Endeavour came with a....

Image

....stove/oven and an outside vented storage locker so it made sense to replace the hoses and regulator. The items are not cheap. I feel very safe with what we have now and thousands of boats are safely setup like this.

Our Mac S did not have a stove and a permanent one would take up some valuable space, so we choose to go with the most compact camp stove we could find at the time. It stores ...

Image

...out of the way on top of the food storage unit and ...

Image

....is easy and convenient for me to use sitting on the port side when it is time for a meal. The bottles come in for a meal and go outside in tubes the rest of the time. We cook every day on the boat for weeks at a time, but no multi-course meals that require more cook time and cleanup time (water is precious). Coffee and maybe eggs and toast in the morning and our big meal at noon if we are anchored is daily stove usage. Used like that a 1 lb. bottle lasts us 5-8 days at least. So do you really need a big bottle is the question? We didn't even go through six 1 lb. bottles in 7+ weeks last trip.

I feel that the way we are using propane in the Mac is also very safe and we used the same stove in the Endeavour for the first trip since I didn't trust the old lines and the regulator was putting out way too much pressure,

Sum

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FinallySailing
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Re: Am I doing it wrong: LPG tank installation

Post by FinallySailing » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:21 pm

Hi,

You are based in Turkey. Did you buy your Mac there or did you bring it in from the EU ? I think, whilst a lot of the replies to your post give excellent advice on gas tank installations, you really want to make sure that you comply with the relevant local regulations, at least as not to invalidate your boat insurance. Also, did you think of alternatives ? If you have an LPG cooker inside your boat you will always have to pipe gas through to it, even with a neatly isolated and vented gas locker. Pipes and connections can fail and gas inside a boat will slowly collect - as it is heavier than air - first in the bilges and then at the bottom of the cabin. You might not notice it until .... kaboom !!! Ok, in a nice climate like the Med you could get an outside BBQ to cook on, I've seen some great ones that clip onto the pushpit. Or if you want to have an inside cooker think of a methylated spirit cooker, like the ones made by Origo. There was a recent post by a fellow Mac from Norway who had installed one: http://www.macgregorsailors.com/modt/in ... ?view=1713
These are safe, easy to maintain, there are no extra lockers necessary and no pipes to be routed through the boat. They come as flush mount and freestanding, with single and double burners. Some have electric elements as well and can run on "dual fuel", i.e. alcohol or electricity when in the marina. I've got rid of my old gas stove, not only because of the worries regarding a slow leak but also because I am trying to have my Mac comply with inland water way regulations here.

Hope I might have swayed you with my post :D Whatever you do, stay safe !

Fair Winds,

FS

DrV
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Re: Am I doing it wrong: LPG tank installation

Post by DrV » Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:02 am

Coming back to it, 5 years later. I can say that it turned out I don't cook much when sailing, caught fish can be grilled onshore (summer weather is normally nice here), in Marinas there's no need to cook, we eat kebabs outside... Normally we didn't cook at all, some local canned beans with other vegetables and meat (called Barbunya here) or similar work great for me and my crew. With some occasional morning coffee, I stayed with the inside cooker (with LPG tank inside galley). But last year I didn't even use it, felt unsafe somehow.

Now I have purchased this item: http://www.hergunyeniurun.com/nurgaz-tr ... n8063.html , and I intend to store it somewhere on the safety rails, in a WHITE bag, when cruising, so the gas wouldn't be able to find a way inside boat. White bag - because we don't want to over-heat it in the bright sun. Or better under the deckseats? (Gallons of fuel there!)

And I will be fetching it out and using outside on a table attached to the pedestal. Will it be much safer solution compared to 1-gallon LPG tank inside the galley?

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